…and economic reality.
I just was watching this winning video, and the video properly states what New Urbanism is; AKA Old Urbanism, Traditional Neighborhood design. Of course, as with all Government agendas they don’t mention we should actually return to the effective monetary policies and zoning practices that allowed the creation of these old urban and traditional neighborhood designs, they instead want to dictate and control the build out of these “new urban” designs. This does cause concern from me, as it is against any notable choice, individual liberty, or freedom of the individual. Often times the planners and Government leaders push forward with these efforts as if people choose not to live in cities and choose to live in the suburbs. The politicians and planners often forget, the main enabler of suburbs, sprawl, and the whole damnable aspect of the wasteful, weakness inducing American stereotype is them and they’re debt increasing subsidization of sprawl type development. Now they try to hold us all accountable to this and people don’t even realize they’re living a heavily subsidized lifestyle.
Anyway, some of the comments on Youtube I just had to answer, because I’m always amazed at the lack of insight, context, or knowledge they often proffer.
From electer1776 these questions for the utopians:
1. How will you get people to leave their nice suburban homes? Force?
2. How will you stop people from fleeing your overcrowded utopia? Force?
3. How will you stop an explosion of crime in your overcrowded hell?
4. What will you do to control concentrated pollution in your overcrowded areas?
5. What size army will you need to oppress the people into your utopia?
This is simple. There are many cities that prove these answer I’ll provide, including but not limited to; Portland, OR, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, San Diego, CA, even gasp Los Angeles, CA. Add to that density increasing cities of Seattle, WA, Tuscon, AZ, Miami, FL, and hundreds more around the world. When given options, people do NOT always choose a sprawling suburb. Just as often, and usually more often, when provided a choice (which we haven’t had for years in the US) of a good city urban life versus the burbs, people will choose the urban lifestyle. So, to the answers.
1. Offer then a choice. Over the years people that want culture, night life, development & education, will often leave the burbs for the higher intensity of brain trust & creativity that is alive within cities.
2. People fled American cities for a number of reasons; white flight, mass subsidization of Interstates that encouraged sprawl, a drastic change in zoning which disabled people from living in cities or allowing cities to grow intelligently. There where a number of reasons, and the flock often goes the way the herder encourages, so thus the people fled cities per what the Government thought was a grand idea – suburbs! Now we’re slowly finding out, as the market told us before, that suburbs aren’t exactly feasible. So after 50+ years of debt induced sprawl, we’re being forced to cut back. No longer is China and others so willing to keep buying our debt. We’re going to have to start buying our own lives back now, and we’re deeply owned by others already – it’s a tough road ahead.
3. Crime? Crime is a unique trait of lower income areas generally, NOT of a particular land development. New Orleans is a prime example of a million plus people, with very high crime for the US. Portland, Oregon is a prime example of a million plus people, with very low crime in the US. You are simply correlating incorrect data points. Correlation is not causation, simple fact.
4. Populated areas often have less pollution than less populated areas. Take Portland & Seattle for example. Compare that with Jacksonville, Florida or Atlanta, Georgia. Both of those cities have tons more pollution, dirtier air, entire ghettos that are polluted in ways many don’t even know anymore. These ghettos, are primarily suburban sprawl.
5. What size army? Hell, Portland & Seattle don’t even need police in large number compared to sprawling areas like Atlanta or Jacksonville. Jacksonville is close in population to Portland, it had more than 2x the murder rate for the last 30 years. Atlanta, a little closer to Seattle, still vastly higher. Don’t even get me started on other places like that. As urban centers have lost the chaotic destruction caused by mass Interstate Subsidy and white flight, they’ve started to become lively again. As suburbs mature they become more despotic and crime ridden.
I could go on for days. The defense of suburbia is ridiculous. The defense is infeasible. Already, we can’t afford our military or the economic impact of this lifestyle. So what do we do?
No matter what, we change.